3rd Sunday of Lent (c)
Season of Lent
Sunday 28th February: 3rd Sunday of Lent (c).
The first reading is from the Book of Exodus. In it, we hear how God reveals his name to Moses. He tells him he is the same God who promised Abraham that his descendants would inherit the promise land. Moses removes his sandals – a sign of his deep respect for God’s power.
The second reading is from the Letter to the Corinthians. St. Paul warns the Corinthians about the danger of complacency. Their lives must be pleasing to God.
In the Gospel passage from St. Luke, we are told the parable of the barren fig tree. Its message is to remind us that time is growing short. We need to produce the fruit of repentance.
Monday 29th February: Monday in the 3rd week of Lent.
Today’s liturgy makes us think especially of those converts who are being prepared for Baptism at the Easter Vigil. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that the Church is missionary, evangelising. People ask why be concerned about unknown distant peoples, far less those who are close to us. Elisha cures the pagan officer from Damascus in Syria and the man found faith and healing. Jesus warns the people that salvation will be offered to all, even non-Jews, pagans. It doesn’t mean that the missionary will be always understood or even welcome.
Tuesday 1st March: Tuesday in the 3rd week of Lent.
Maybe we don’t like to acknowledge it but each one of us has been forgiven a lot. Perhaps not ‘big sins’ in the scale of things but scandalous in the sense of being totally unacceptable on the part of people who profess to be the sign of the Church, of Jesus or of God himself. Where is our forgiving others as God has forgiven us as we pray the Lord’s prayer.
Wednesday 2nd March: Wednesday in the 3rd week of Lent.
What is the meaning of the commandments to us? To the People of Israel, they were the total expression of faithfulness to God and to the whole people as part of the Covenant. They were the road to freedom from all slavery. They were signs of belonging to God and trying to live lives that showed that.
In Jesus, all this is fulfilled and he takes it further. The commandments remain but they become the basic step not to salvation but to a right relationship with God and our neighbour, a relationship which is built on and motivated by love.
Thursday 3rd March: Thursday in the 3rd week of Lent.
‘Listen to my voice’ says God through his prophet Jeremiah and then he complains that God’s people fails to listen. They go their own ways and do not speak the language of God or live a live that shows his presence.
In the Gospel, Jesus heals the man who was mute. Worse than anyone who is blind or deaf or mute are those who do not want to see or hear or to speak with sincerity. They do not follow Jesus. Their hearts are blind and divided.
Friday 4th March: Friday in the 3rd week of Lent.
Many human endeavours fail because God is left out of the picture. Israel wanted to go her own way, rely on her own resources and alliances with the mighty of the day. We cannot be saved without God
Salvation lies in the love of God and is expressed in the love of our neighbour. The rule of the Christian should be ‘Love God with your whole being and your neighbour as yourself.’ See God in your neighbour and see also a bit of yourself in your neighbour.
Saturday 5th March: Saturday in 3rd week of Lent.
We have already heard how we cannot save ourselves by empty rites and practices. Sin is forgiven and lasting happiness found in an encounter with God. If we recognise and admit that we are sinners, then there is room for growth. God raises us up, saves us from our failures and helps us grow in the love of Christ.
O Christ Jesus,when all is darkness
And we feel our weakness and helplessness
Give us Your presence,
Your love and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
In Your protecting love
And strengthening power
So that nothing may frighten or worry us
For, living close to You, we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.